Cat INV1250 Spec Review

The Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 1000 W and a starting wattage of 1250 W.

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Description

Take your outdoor adventures to the next level with the Cat® INV1250 portable inverter generator. Inverter technology provides a high-quality power that's safe for your sensitive electronics. Cat® CO DEFENSE™Carbon Monoxide Sensing & Shutdown technology keeps you, your family, and friends safe. (source: Cat)

Zoom on the Cat INV1250

In a nutshell, the Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
  • Amateur DIY lovers

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Cat INV1250 in use

The Cat INV1250

The Cat INV1250's build contains a gasoline-fueled 60 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120V output, it gives a running wattage of 1000W and also a peak wattage of 1250W. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

At a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a refrigerator), the inverter generator offers the possibility to start the device via a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a fuel capacity of 0.8 gallon, the INV1250 may run for around 7.9 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.1 GPH).

The INV1250 produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlet.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

Additionally, it features 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

Portability

Thanks to its closed inverter generator design (L18.3 x W11.5 x H16.6 in), the Cat INV1250, is more esthetical than a typical, open frame generator. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.

Labeled a lightweight portable generator, the INV1250 weighs just 33.1 lbs. The device can be easily moved by just one person and thus, its power may be enjoyed on-the-go. This convenience is further enhanced thanks to a handle (molded in the case) that allows you to carry it with ease.

Features

Panel of the Cat INV1250

The INV1250's control panel

The light indicators show you if the generator is ready, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is overloaded.

The inverter generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

The INV1250 also benefits from Cat’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual, which lets you start it right away, the Cat INV1250 also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit, funnel and oil.

Emissions

The Cat INV1250 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

The Cat INV1250 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV1250 compare to generators of similar power (between 500 and 1500 W).

  • As for its weight, the Cat INV1250 weighs only 33.1 pounds, making it one of the lighter generators in the 500-1500 rated wattage category. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the Sportsman GEN1000i, weighing just 20.3 pounds.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 52 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Honda EU1000i, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 42 dBA.
  • The INV1250, offering a run time of around 7.9 hours with a full tank at a 50% load, falls within the average autonomy range when compared to its peers. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Pulsar PG2000, as it provides around 12 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This inverter generator, with an estimated fuel consumption of just 0.1 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, is one of the more fuel efficient generators, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.08 GPH, the Ryobi RYi1000 is a device you should look out for.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • CO DEFENSE™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (33.1 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat INV1250 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General

InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine60 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil

Power

VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts1000 W
Starting watts1250 W
Running amps8.3 amps
Peaks amps10.4 amps
Run time @50% load7.9 h
Run time @25% loadN/A

Features

GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankPlastic, 0.8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes

Misc

Weight33.1 lbs
Dimensions (L x W x H)18.3 x 11.5 x 16.6 in
Noise (lower limit)52 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel and tool kit
Warranty3 years

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. A majority of the industrial-scale CAT products is made in the USA. However, the production of many of their household products is reported to be outsourced overseas.

Warranty Information

The Cat INV1250 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies. Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

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